WASHINGTON -- While most House Republicans walked out of a meeting Saturday boasting that a new measure linking an Obamacare delay to funding the government would force the Senate's hand, at least one member acknowledged that the House may have to vote on a "clean" continuing resolution to avoid a looming government shutdown.
"Let's see what the Senate sends back," said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) "If they send back another clean CR, I suspect -- again, I'm not making a decision on what's going to be on the floor -- a clean CR would likely to be on the floor at some point."
"I'm prepared to vote for a clean CR," he said. "I don't want the government to shut down."
Dent's comments were off-script given that House Republicans projected confidence that their gambit to link a one-year delay of Obamacare and a repeal of the law's taxes on medical devices would pass a Democratic Senate for President Barack Obama's signature. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he will not accept a continuing resolution that includes Obamacare provisions. House Republicans countered that nervous red-state Democratic senators would break out in support of the House's resolution with the Obamacare provisions.
Other Republicans stayed on-message and dismissed a House vote on a clean continuing resolution. "I don't think so," said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) when asked about the possibility.
Still, other moderate House Republicans left the door open for a less confrontational approach. "I don't want to be undercutting anything that's going on. I'm hopeful normal people are going to prevail," said Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). "There's still time for the Senate to act."
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), deputy whip of the House, told reporters after the meeting that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could still pass a clean continuing resolution.
"He didn't mention it, but I'm sure he could if he wanted to," Cole said.
Michael McAuliff and Sabrina Siddiqui contributed reporting.